Edward Camposano and Nico Almendras joined hands as the Sta. Elena-NU Ball Hammers dealt the skidding Arellano University Chiefs a straight-set beatdown, 25-12, 25-19, 25-13, in the 2019 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference at the Paco Arena in Manila, Tuesday.
Camposano and Almendras exploded for 27 points combined. The former tallying 16 points, while the latter finished with 11 markers along with 11 excellent receptions.
Sta. Elena now sit atop Group D with a 2-0 win-loss slate.
“Minsan yung complacency lang, ‘pag medyo lumalamang kami nagre-relax. Pero ngayon maganda yung depensa namin, maganda yung blocks namin sa taas. Yun naman ang ine-emphasize namin sa kanila – yung sa blockings namin,” said Sta. Elena-NU head coach Dong Dela Cruz.
Reinforced Conference Best Middle Blocker Idin Daymil chipped in 10 points, while Banjo Mondero added eight points and seven digs. Joshua Retamar facilitated the offensive attack with 18 excellent sets along with his four markers.
Arellano – who dropped their second consecutive game in three outings – were led by Demy Lapuz with seven markers.
Sta. Elena missed the services of team captain James Natividad, who is currently preparing for the UAAP Season 82 Men’s Beach Volleyball Tournament.
Also collecting victories were the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas and the debuting Volleyball Never Stops Volleyball Club Griffins.
Reigning NCAA MVP Joebert Almodiel towed the Altas past the pesky San Sebastian College-Recoletos Golden Stags, 25-21, 25-20, 29-27, to clinch the first quarterfinals slot in Group C.
“Although nanalo kami nung first set and second set, hindi pa rin ako satisfied kasi nandun yung kampante na character ba. Hindi yung kahit sino kalaban, pukpok sila ng pukpok. Kaya doon ako nagwo-worry ng konti, dahil may attitude sila na ganyan,” said Perpetual head coach Sammy Acaylar.
Despite dominating the first two sets, Perpetual had to dig deep in the third frame to fend off San Sebastian. Down by five points in the last set, 16-21, Almodiel connived with Louie Ramirez and Kennry Malinis for an 8-3 run to knot the score at 24-all.
Reynald Honra then tried to keep the Stags in the game. Unfortunately, John Rick Baggayan and Hero Austria delivered the finishing blows to seal the Altas’ fourth victory in as many games.
Almodiel led all scorers with 15 hits for 16 points, along with nine digs and three receptions. Malinis spiked 10 attacks for 11 markers. Meanwhile, EJ Casana dished out 22 excellent sets to steer the Altas to an immaculate 4-0 slate.
Honra finished 14 points, while Dominique Ramirez had 13 for the Stags.
San Sebastian then dropped to a 0-2 standing.
In the nightcap, the Griffins scored their first victory at the expense of the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals, 25-23, 15-25, 26-24, 25-21, in Group A.
French hitter Jeremy Merat paced VNS with 13 points, all coming from attacks. Samoan spiker Greg Utupo finished with 11 markers spiked by four blocks to give VNS its debut victory.
La Salle star Cris Dumago flaunted his all-around brilliance, finishing with nine points, 14 digs, and nine receptions. Meanwhile, team captain Geuel Asia churned the offense with 19 excellent sets.
““I think sixty to seventy percent ata ng team ko bago eh, so naga-adjust pa din sa system. Kasi yung EAC, maganda yung system din nila eh. ‘Pag kami nawawala sa system namin, doon sila nagte-take advantage. So ang ginawa lang namin, nag-regroup tsaka bumalik lang kami sa dating galaw namin,” said VNS head coach Ralph Ocampo, who lost Tony Koyfman, Gian San Pascual, Wewe Medina, Eugene Del Rio, and Emmanuel Hizon in the off-season.
Meanwhile, Joshua Ramilo’s 20-point outing went down the drain, as the Generals absorbed their second loss of the tournament with a 1-2 card.
Foreign players Merat and Utupo – who are both studying in the Philippines – have both secured their alien certificates. They are both eligible to play this conference.